New Jersey Lawmakers Ask Why Atlantic City Trains Still Aren’t Running

(Bloomberg) -- Eight weeks after New Jersey Transit was supposed to resume rail service between Atlantic City and Philadelphia, the agency refuses to say why the trains aren’t running, according to some state lawmakers.

“As the leader of NJ Transit, Kevin Corbett should be able to offer honest answers as to why the Atlantic City Rail Line remains closed,” Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, a Democrat from Northfield, said in a statement. “But all he’s done is mislead commuters time and time again.”

NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith didn’t immediately comment on complaints by Mazzeo and Assemblyman John Armato, a Democrat from Buena Vista. NJ Transit on Jan. 25 stated that it would work during the second quarter to restore the train service that’s used by about 2,000 commuters.

Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat in office for 13 months, has made an NJ Transit turnaround a priority after eight years of budget cuts and declining safety and service under his predecessor, Republican Chris Christie. The railroad, the second-biggest commuter operator in the U.S., suspended Atlantic City trains on Sept. 5 as NJ Transit raced to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to install life-saving braking technology.

NJ Transit said the line would be restored when the braking project was complete. Armato, though, said that passengers “remain more nervous than ever about its future” and that NJ Transit “refuses to disclose the real reasons the line is still closed.”

On its website, NJ Transit said it was continuing to discount alternative bus transportation.

“The agency continues to address an ongoing shortage of locomotive engineers, as well as equipment availability, as Positive Train Control (PTC) installations, maintenance inspections and testing continues,” NJ Transit said.

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